To be clear
To be clear Jude, I CAN say that while SACD CAN be superior, it hasn't been proven, because nobody (to my knowledge) has done the proper double-blind tests to prove that it SOUNDS superior. I do not argue that (theoretical/technical) superiority (which is what I meant by "I don't argue the superiority"). It's QUITE possible for something to be MEASURABLY superior, yet sound IDENTICAL. Our ears/brains ARE NOT laboratory instruments. No matter how superior we may believe our hearing to be, my experience has taught me that VERY OFTEN, what I perceive to be "better" in fact ISN'T!
Also, I have done sample rate tests with a variety of listeners, including young women (who do, after all, posess better hearing acuity than men, though only God understands why, because they seem to be the least critical listeners!). NONE could tell the difference between an otherwise identical recording sampled at 48khz (the original), and re-sampled to 44.1khz, and 32khz! As long as response remained flat to at least 15khz, they heard NO difference!
I know that many professionals are singing the praises of SACD and DVD-A. I also know that many of the more famous producers and engineers who are singing these praises have a vested interest in the success of their "preferred" format. I'm sorry, but most record producers have blown their high frequency hearing many years ago with excessively loud levels in the control room. I honestly don't think it's too much to ask to DEMAND that any supposed "expert" who claims that there is "enormous" advantage to the ultrasonic frequency response of SACD and DVD-A proove with a hearing test by a certified audiologist that they still have ANY hearing above 15khz!!! Hearing loss runs rampant among audio professionals. Ironic, isn't it? This is why I am so conservative about listening levels, and prefer headphone monitoring to monitoring over speakers...with good headphones I can hear small details in a mix more clearly without destroying my hearing.
As for limitations in my system, my stated observations/skepticism is based upon many years of listening tests, on many different systems...in studios at various radio stations and production houses, in my studio (which has changed quite a bit over the years), and on various home and portable listening devices. And my hearing (as certified by an audiologist) is quite good for a 43 year old male. At various stations where I have worked, I have been called "bat ears" for my ability to consistently hear problems with the station's air-chain before anyone else could spot them. At one station, the chief engineer used my ears as the test for when to replace the tubes in the transmitter. "If it starts to sound 'fuzzy' to Mike, it's time to change 'em...before normal people can hear it!"
Why are YOU so sure that SACD or DVD-A are "vastly superior" in an audible way WITHOUT the presence of carefully controlled, double-blind testing to prove it one way or the other?
Also I can now state categorically that DVD-Audio FAILS MISERABLY at one thing that it claims to offer...24 bit resolution. There has not been, nor is there on the horizon (that I'm aware of) an a/d or d/a converter which achieves anything near true 24 bit resolution! This is why we need MEASUREMENTS guys, to keep 'em honest! The BEST of the dvd-audio players out there achieve linearity "only" to about the 20th bit.
The best tool for "keeping 'em honest"? SKEPTICISM!
Yes SACD and DVD-A have a lower noise floor, and higher frequency response than cd. But if cd already exceeds human hearing in both categories (which many VERY good listeners believe it does!), is there any AUDIBLE advantage to justify the ENORMOUSLY wasteful data storage demands, and cost of replacing our entire music libraries once again? NOT to SCREAM at the top of our lungs "YEAH, PROVE IT!" seems to border on insanity to me!